How to Increase Cyber Security Efforts Without Hiring Additional Personnel

How to Increase Cybersecurity Efforts Without Hiring Additional Personnel

Unmet Business Needs & Skill Shortage
There never seems to be enough qualified people right? Information security attacks are happening non-stop, and data breaches seem commonplace now. Many organizations have attempted to staff their team with qualified cyber security experts, but positions are not filling up at all. Nearly a quarter-million positions have remained unfilled in the United States alone, globally it is not looking good either. Demand for cyber security in the private sector is rising annually, while qualified experts continue to decrease in supply. Investment into security technology can aid existing staff to become efficient and effective while maintaining a reasonable budget for your organization.

This cyber security skills gap has impacted the private sector in a variety of ways. According to a survey conducted by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA):

54% of respondents stated that the gap had increased the workload in their organization.

Another 35% of respondents have reported that they have had to hire junior staff and train them into the role. The more surprising result was that nearly a two-fifths of respondents stated that the cyber security gap has impacted how much they could fully utilize cyber security technology.


The more of a shortage an organization has, the more exposed they are to attack. Business has responded to this risk but has faced the struggles of internal prioritization and budgetary constraints. Financial difficulties do help to boil down options. In the case of cyber security, this means selecting from having to hire new staff, invest in training existing staff, or boost efficiency through technology. The most cost-effective can also be the most reasonable option, here it would be increasing efficiency with technology.

Business Responses & Budget Problems
With the consolidated cost of a data breach being around $4 million per attack, business has responded globally by spending around $70 billion a year in cyber security. According to a study by the RAND Corporation, companies seem more concerned with the reputation losses rather than direct financial losses. Meaning any data breach large or small is of concern to the executive suite.

Cyber security spending often falls between technology and hiring new staff. For companies hiring new employees, there is an understanding that demand is high while supply is low. So the costs for cyber security staff is growing as more incentives will be needed to attract the top talent to your company. These costs can grow out of control beyond what a company had budgeted for. The hiring of additional personnel at face value seems like a worthy investment, but if security is not automated wherever possible, then the new staff could be a wasteful expense.

Insider threat is one of the leading causes of data breaches, so it would make sense that this becomes a priority for security automation to aid your staff or security consultant.

Technology Solutions: Employee Monitoring & Insider Threat Detection
Automating insider threat detection and employee monitoring can save you time, resources, and money. Investment into these areas can aid your current staff in their detection efforts and prevent data breaches rather than mitigating the damage.

Employee Monitoring
An easy to implement solution for boosting information security efforts is employee monitoring. Employees are privileged when it comes to access to sensitive data. Disgruntled employees too may be more willing to leverage company information for personal gain. When comparing the cost of using a security service or hiring a dedicated specialist the service operator can produce more savings and provide many more offerings. Employee monitoring involves setting a baseline of online behavior, tracking deviations, automating rules/reminders, and activity logging. While typically employee monitoring has been used for productivity reasons our connected world requires that we leverage monitoring for security as well. The savings earned from having software with dedicated support can help with the bulk of the work. Employee monitoring ultimately saves time, money, and headaches in the short and long runs.

Insider Threat Detection
The most significant risk in today’s business environment is that of the insider threat. Who is an insider? Anyone in your organization is an insider. Risks from insider threat can also mean contractors working with you. The common thread is that they are privileged users, which also means they pose the most significant threat. The insider is not some abstract idea though. They are people with stress, responsibilities, and multi-faceted roles. Which of course means they can make some compromising decisions to further their self-interests.

It is for this reason that insider threat detection is such a critical aspect of information security. Insider threat is not a technical issue it is a human one. The detection element of insider threat expands employee monitoring by identifying what proper baseline behavior, real-time behavior violations, risk profiling, and content tracking. Together this wealth of information will provide you with what you need to develop profiles of someone who is becoming a risk to your organization over time. Detection helps to proactively revoke access to data to someone who becomes a threat.

Understanding the current skills gap and how that affects your budgets going forward can be useful to know what your options are realistically. Focusing on the most vulnerable security areas, such as insider threat, can help you understand where technology automation can aid your existing staff. At the end saving you time and money.

Joshua Morales

Joshua Morales

Joshua Morales is a San Juan based writer who enjoys producing cyber-security insights for business leaders around the globe. He can also be found writing about sustainability, capital markets, and open-source software. Joshua can be contacted at joshua@teramind.co

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